Donning black, Deepika Padukone visits JNU

The actress’ visit instantly triggers calls from the BJP to boycott her film.

NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone left her fan club and the national capital buzzing on Tuesday evening, when she decided to drop in on the students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, two days after a masked mob attacked students and teachers on the campus, leaving 34 injured and provoking nationwide outrage.

She visited JNU around 7.45 pm and stayed on campus for about 10 minutes.

Padukone’s visit instantly triggered calls by the ruling BJP to boycott her movies.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga said, “Boycott movies of Deepika Padukone for her support to #Tukde TukdeGang and Afzal Gang.”

Though Padukone did not speak at the university, she was seen standing with a group of students who were attacked, including president of the students’ union Aishe Ghosh. Former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was also present.

The actress, who is in Delhi to promote her upcoming film, was in all-black — also a symbol of solidarity with the students — while visiting the university.

Chants of ‘azadi’ are said to have welcomed the actress to the university.

The move by Padukone, one of Bollywood’s top stars, stood out amid conspicuous silence by film industry A-listers on student protests and the demonstrations across the country against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.

On Monday, Padukone had spoken to a TV channel about the protests, saying that she was proud “people are not scared”.

“I feel proud that we are not scared. I think to be able to express ourselves. I think the fact we are thinking about this and about the future of our country. It is nice to see people are coming out on the streets to voice this and express (themselves). Because if we want to see change, this is very important,” she said

Bollywood star Ajay Devgn on Tuesday said violence is not a solution to any problem and the Jawaharlal Nehru University attack is “very sad”.

The actor said he was not clear about what transpired inside the university campus on Sunday as news reports gave “conflicting” accounts.

“I have been watching the news since morning. It’s very conflicting. Till now, we do not know who has done what. So till the time this is not clear, I do not know how to comment. It is all very sad what’s happening,” Ajay Devgn said, in response to a question on his views on the JNU attack.

“Whoever is doing it, is wrong. Violence is not a solution to anything. It is just harming our country. What is the agenda behind it, if you know, then please tell me because whatever there is in the news is not clear,” he added.

On Monday night, a slew of Bollywood celebrities such as directors Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and actors Taapsee Pannu and Richa Chadha turned up at Carter Road in Mumbai, in solidarity with those protesting against the violence at the JNU. In a peaceful gathering of hundreds, the film fraternity was at the forefront, with prominent personalities, including actors Swara Bhasker, Dia Mirza and Ali Fazal as well as Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, Rahul Dholakia and Neeraj Ghaywan.

However, none of the Bollywood biggies such as Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan among others have reacted on the ongoing protests against the attack on students of JNU.

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